When it comes to offshore fishing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, the different tuna varieties are a top choice for anglers to target. The blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna feature two significant characteristics. One, they are strong fighters, and two, they are excellent to eat. With as many different types of tuna, it can be confusing to understand the differences. Is a black fin tuna same as a big eye.

So Is A Black Fin Tuna Same As a Big Eye

The answer is no. The blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna are two different types of tuna in the same family. Interestingly enough, people frequently misname the blackfin tuna as black eye tuna, black tip tuna, or black tail tuna. The proper name is blackfin tuna.

How To Identify A Blackfin Tuna From A Bigeye Tuna

The blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna are easy to distinguish from each other. Each has distinguishing features. However, the question is often asked, how many different types of tuna are there. Know that there are 15 varieties of tuna and it is challenging to identify the differences between them all.

Below are the ways to tell the difference between the blackfin tuna and the big eye tuna.

How To Identify A Blackfin Tuna

A blackfin tuna is dark in color along the dorsal fin, in fact, it is nearly black. Beneath the black is a bronze line that extends from head to tail before fading to a silver-white down through the belly.

When it comes to size, the blackfin tuna is relatively small—Blackfin range from a couple of pounds up to 40 pounds so be prepared for quick or prolonged battle once the fish is hooked.

How To Identify A Bigeye Tuna

When comparing the big eye tuna vs yellowfin tuna they are easily confused however the big eye tuna does have unique identifying characteristics. The top of the fish is blue before turning white to silver for the remainder of the body. Unlike the yellowfin tuna, the bigeye tuna does not have a yellow line. As for its name, the eye is more prominent, but its larger size may be difficult to recognize.

The bigeye tuna can range between a few pounds all the way up to 400 pounds. They grow much bigger than blackfin.

What Is The Range Of A Blackfin Tuna And A Bigeye Tuna

The tuna family is common along the entire east coast of the United States. They all reside in offshore waters up and down the coast.

What Is The Range Of A Blackfin Tuna

Anglers can catch blackfin tuna from South Florida up through Cape Cod, Massachusetts. However, in the north, offshore fishers are more likely to target yellowfin and bluefin tuna.

What Is The Range Of A Bigeye Tuna

Big eye tuna have a similar range to that of a blackfin tuna. The bigeye extends slightly farther north into Maine and down through South Florida but overall very similar when comparing the range.

How Do Anglers Catch Blackfin Tuna And Big Eye Tuna

Although the blackfin tuna and bigeye tuna are in the same family, they are targeted by anglers differently. Both types of tuna are strong fighters, so be prepared for a brawl.

How To Catch Blackfin Tuna

When it comes to how catch blackfin tuna, the blackfin tuna is one of the most frequently caught tunas on the east coast. When blackfin tuna fishing the most popular methods include chunking, live baiting, verticle jigging, and trolling. It is essential to know that tuna is equipped with superb eyesight therefore we recommend using fluorocarbon leaders when targeting all members of the tuna family.

Anglers trolling offshore waters must use light trolling equipment. Lures rigged with ballyhoo, strips, or just plain feathers will generate a strike. Keep an eye out of schools at the surface feeding on baits.

How To Catch Bigeye Tuna

Interestingly enough, the big eye tuna is not highly sought after by anglers. The primary reason fisherman do not target them is because they remain deep in the water column. However, when big eye tuna fishing they have been caught on stout rods and reels by deep big eye tuna lures trolling or accidentally while chumming for other tuna species.

Big eye tuna fishing requires big eye tuna lures that are stocky and short measuring between 8 and 10 inches in overall length.

Are Blackfin Tuna And Bigeye Tuna Good To Eat

Only a few species of the tuna family are not as enjoyable to eat. Both the blackfin tuna and the bigeye tuna are excellent.

As a result of a big eye tuna size versus a blackfin tuna, the flesh is typically cut into steaks, whereas blackfin comes in loins. Although the meat is cut differently, the tunas can be cooked in the same ways.

When preparing a blackfin tuna recipe or big eye, it can be served raw or as seared tuna. Follow a tuna steak recipe or ahi tuna recipe.

A Blackfin Tuna Is Not The Same As A Big Eye Tuna

The next time you’re offshore fishing in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, you will be able to determine the difference between a bigeye tuna and a black finned tuna. It is unlikely that many bigeye tuna will be encountered on the east coast but highly likely that blackfin will be part of your daily catch when